Ecotourism Trips in Lowcountry South Carolina

Kayaking eco tourism

Red Bluff Lodge is on-board with the "green" movement sweeping the country. One of fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry is what is called ecotourism. The International Ecotourism Society defines Ecotourism as: "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people". Some of the more common ecotourism activities include: rafting, kayaking, birding, rock climbing, and backpacking to name just a few. Red Bluff Lodge offers ecotourism trips into the low country of South Carolina. Below are some key traits of ecotourism:

1) Involves travel to natural destinations. These destinations are often remote areas, whether inhabited or uninhabited, and are usually under some kind of environmental protection at the national, international, communal or private level.

2) Minimizes Impact. Tourism causes damage. Ecotourism strives to minimize the adverse affects of hotels, trails, and other infrastructure by using either recycled materials or available local building materials, renewable sources of energy, recycling and safe disposal of waste and garbage, and environmentally and culturally sensitive architectural design. Minimization of impact also requires that the numbers and mode of behavior of tourists be regulated to ensure limited damage to the ecosystem.

3) Builds environmental awareness. Ecotourism means education, for both tourists and residents of nearby communities. Ecotourism projects should also help educate members of the surrounding community, and the broader public.

4) Provides direct financial benefits for conservation: Ecotourism helps raise funds for environmental protection, research and education through a variety of mechanisms, including park entrance fees, hotel, airline and airport taxes and voluntary contributions.

5) Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people: National Parks and other conservation areas will only survive if there are "happy people" around their perimeters. The local community must be involved with and receive income and other tangible benefits (potable water, roads, health clinics, etc.) from the conservation area and its tourist facilities. Campsites, lodges, guide services, restaurants and other concessions should be run by or in partnership with communities surrounding a park or other tourist destination.

6) Respects local culture: Ecotourism is not only "greener" but also less culturally intrusive and exploitative than conventional tourism. Ecotourism strives to be culturally respectful and have a minimal effect on both the natural environment and the human population.

7) Supports human rights and democratic movements: Ecotourism demands a more holistic approach to travel, one in which participants strive to respect, learn about and benefit both the local environment and local communities.